Ten Tips for using LinkedIn for sales prospecting


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Savvy salespeople are increasingly using LinkedIn as a primary source of new leads and tangible revenue. In fact, for business to business, LinkedIn is a critical tool that can make your prospecting faster, smoother and, ultimately, more profitable.

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  • Thanks for sharing. Outbound prospecting is so important for a more predictable sales process. We're currently using a sales prospecting tool called www.found.ly which grabs us the professional email address of our prospects in real-time, and also allows us to reach out to them using the internally built email automation tool. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else uses this system to get your feedback to compare?
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Ten Tips for using LinkedIn for sales prospecting

  1. 1. AAyuja © 2013 Disclaimer: This presentation and the information provided here is indicative in nature and should not be treated as views of the organization. Ten Tips for using LinkedIn for sales prospecting Visit us at www.aayuja.comVisit us at www.aayuja.com Meet Goals, Beat Competition, Exceed Expectations *Via Salesforce*Via Salesforce
  2. 2. AAyuja Internal and Confidential © 2012 Tip 1: Never miss a chance to connect The first thing any salesperson who’s ready to get serious about LinkedIn should do is to take a long hard look at his/her contacts. Contacts are the currency of LinkedIn. Connections breed connections. Your first level contacts open up a route to a wide range of second and third level connections. This is how you scale your network. Strike while the iron’s hot – whenever you meet anyone (online or off) always follow up quickly with a connection request while you are still fresh in their mind. 1 If your contacts are predominantly family, friends and old school pals, you’ve got some work to do.
  3. 3. Tip 2: Discover a better way to map your prospects LinkedIn can help you map out decision makers within an organization. When you deal with large multinational companies there are often numerous people involved in making and influencing a purchase. Even for smaller B2B sales, you’ll often need to influence a number of individuals. You’d be surprised how much people put in their profiles – which team they’re in, which office they work out of, what projects they’re focusing on. 2 With a little detective work, you can quickly build up a picture of who you should be talking to, what they’re like (check out their recommendations) and what they’ve done before.
  4. 4. Tip 3: Never make a cold call again With LinkedIn, you can almost always learn enough about someone to make your call more relevant and useful to them. Before calling have a look at their LinkedIn profiles. Pay particular attention to changes in profile, status updates, connections you’ve in common and anything they’ve posted to a group (which can be reason enough to call them in the first place). 3 Also, with a paid account, you can see expanded profiles of everyone on LinkedIn (not just those of your immediate contacts). This provides even more useful insights you can use to make a real-life connection.
  5. 5. Tip 4: Get past the gatekeeper with InMail InMail is LinkedIn’s internal email system and allows you to send an email to any LinkedIn user without requiring an introduction. Basically, it ensures your email gets through to their inbox. LinkedIn claims that an InMail is 30 times more likely to get a response than a cold call. InMails are only available on paid accounts. On the entry-level business account you’ll get three InMails each month. But the good news is that if you do not get a response to an InMail within seven days, your credits are refunded. 4 Senior decision makers are a tough group to get through to . They get besieged with calls and emails every single day. So to protect their time they screen calls, ignore most of their mail and have gatekeepers to prevent unwanted sales approaches from getting through.
  6. 6. Tip 5: Unlock a smarter way to search LinkedIn has a fabulous search facility. With their advanced search you can find people by title, company, location or keyword. Grab a paid account and you can add company size and seniority level too. By intelligently mixing the different filters you can get really deep and identify key individuals quickly and easily. 5 You can also save your search criteria and get a weekly report listing anyone new who matches the customers you’re looking for.
  7. 7. Tip 6: Learn what’s happening in your prospect companies LinkedIn makes discovering these changes easy. You can follow any company that has a LinkedIn page. That way you’ll see anything that changes directly in your updates. It’s an easy way to stay up to date and spot new opportunities. 6 As any salesperson will know, change creates opportunity. People join, people leave, companies make important announcements – any change can present a good reason to get in touch and offer to help.
  8. 8. Tip 7: Use groups for more than simply keeping up to date 1. They can give you further insights into what’s happening within a prospect’s company – how active they are, whether they’re hiring etc. 2. They allow you to see more of an individual prospect’s details – in particular their full name. This is usually restricted to first, level contacts 3. Group membership gives you both the reason and capability to make more connections (it’s one of the criteria you can select when you send a connection request). 7 Most people on LinkedIn use groups to learn more about the industries. Member questions are great for telling you about frustrations and unmet needs. They can also give you the perfect reason for making contact with a prospect.
  9. 9. Tip 8: Make your profile work harder for you If they’re interested, your prospects will invariably look at your profile. So it makes sense to ensure it is 100% complete and delivers a professional impression of both you and your company. Make sure you include current links to your company site, your Twitter account and Facebook page. Finally, always add a photo. It makes you more tangibly real and creates a good impression. Make sure it’s a good quality shot and don’t forget to smile! 8 You should also get some high quality recommendations – especially from existing happy customers (quality is better than quantity). This will give visitors a better idea of what you’re like as a person. After all, even in B2B, people still buy from people.
  10. 10. Tip 9: The ‘look and look back’ trick This can work for you in two ways: 1. The fact that someone looked at your profile is a good excuse to reach out with a connection request 2. If you look at other people’s profiles, a certain proportion will always look back (see 1 above) LinkedIn will give you a list which will include the actual visitor. It then takes just minutes to quickly visit each profile to show you’ve looked back. 9 Unless visitors have set their profiles to anonymous, you can click on the “Who’s viewed your profile?” link and see a list of them. The free account limits how many you can see while paid accounts give you the whole list.
  11. 11. Tip 10: Integrate LinkedIn with your CRM We guess you use a CRM to track and manage your sales pipeline. Most good CRM systems now allow a way out to link with LinkedIn. This would allow you to gain more insights on your prospects. It means you can quickly see their work experience and education as well as shared connections, if any. 10
  12. 12. http://www.aayuja.com/resources/blogs/ We act as growth partner to fast growing technology companies. Our array of inside sales and marketing services help them augment their businesses in the most profitable manner. For Technology Sales And Marketing Resources Visit Our Blog For free eBooks and more visit http://www.aayuja.com/resources/resourceslibrary/